Barekese Reservoir Water Catchment Protection and Management Project

What is the Barekese Reservoir?

Kumasi, Ghana. Photo courtesy of:

The Barkese Reservoir is the main source of potable drinking water for the residents of Kumasi, the second largest city in Ghana with a population of 1,171,311. This reservoir provides 80% of the total pipe borne water to the Kumasi metropolis. But the past two decades the reservoir has been degraded through anthropogenic activities along its catchment area contributing to deteriorating water quality. The water level has  been gradually reducing foreshadowing a looming water crisis in Kumasi in the coming years.  

What is happening to the reservoir?

The degradation of the reservoir is attributed to clearing of land for farming and illegal sawn lumber of the forest reserve that is responsible for protecting the catchments of the Offin River. This deforestation has resulted in reduced inflow and increased evaporation of the reservoir. The Kumasi metropolitan area is also responsible for dumping tonnes of solid waste into the surrounding areas adding to the deteriorating quality of the reservoir.

Threats the Barekese Reservoir face include: Deforestation in Kumasi

  • Estate developers
  • Farming activities
  • Dumping of refuse

The Barekese Reservoir Water Catchment Protection and Management Project

There is an urgent need for the initiation of a national coordinated effort to address the multifaceted problems facing the Barekese Reservoir. This reservoir has not benefitted from a coordinated government institutional and legislative support to ensure the conservation of the Barekese Reseroir and secure its domestic, industrial and ecological functions of providing drinking water for the Kumasi metropolis as well as providing habitat for fauna and flora species that thrive within its catchment. The Barekese Water Catchment Protection and Management Project in turn proposes to submit for gazetting Barekese as a Ramsar site to afford it the necessary commitment for protection. The establishment of a management structure will help to safeguard and secure national protection for the Barekese Reservoir.

Objectives to combat these threats and ensure the protection of the Barekese Reservoir are:

  1. To initiate the legalisation Barekese Reservoir as a Ramsar site
  2. Facilitate the establishment of a management structure for Barekese Reservoir
  3. Achieve the wise use of the Barekese Reservoir by initiating a participatory approach to secure the biological functions of the catchment of the reservoir

Stakeholders are: Ghana Water Company Limited (GWCL), Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Kumasi Metropolitan Assembly (KMA), Asante Stool Land Council (ASC), Catchment communities, Wetlands Unit of Wildlife Division of Forestry Commission of Ghana, Ministry of Environment and Science, Ministries of Lands and Natural Resources

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